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Thursday, 22 June, 2000, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Matthaus slams German players
Lothar Matthaus
Matthaus has turned his back on German players
Lothar Matthaus has hit out at his German team-mates for the way they performed at Euro 2000.

Matthaus had a difficult tournament, with some of his fellow squad members openly questioning whether he was too old to be playing.

He has decided the time is right to answer back.

"We must look very closely at the character of the players," said Matthaus.

There must never be another German team in which every player earns millions, but is not ready to give their all

Lothar Matthaus

"It would be better to use less talented players who actually put their hearts into the game and are proud to play for Germany.

"There must never be another German team in which every player earns millions, but is not ready to give their all.

"I would have never come back into the team had I known what was going to happen.

"We shouldn't blame our coach Erich Ribbeck for everything.

"He has been abandoned by some players. I feel sorry for him.

"Germany must be careful that it does not disappear from the stage of major tournaments for years."

He said he was not convinced the team would qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

Matthaus has even put himself forward as a possible future German manager.

"If there was a clear plan, I would calmly listen, talk about it and debate it," he said.

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See also:

22 Jun 00 | Germany
Daum declines German job
14 Jun 00 | Germany
Matthaus strikes back
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